In entrepreneurship, you can forgot a lot of things, but you can’t forgo two: hands-on experience and the right connections. This is where online communities for entrepreneurs come in.
Apart from closing the self-isolation gap during COVID19, online business communities have become the safe haven where business connections are nurtured, resources are gathered, and experience is freely shared. If you’re a hands-on type of person, such experience exchange will be your best way to learn entrepreneurship. Moreover, you’ll feel that you’re not alone in the tough world of business, that your aspirations are backed, supported, and motivated by people just like you.
So if you’re still a loner in the world of business or are looking for an online entrepreneur community that’s perfect for your industry, this is the guide for you.
Bookmark these best online communities for entrepreneurs, startups, women-owned businesses, Black and minority-owned businesses, and marketing professionals — as recommended by business owners themselves.
- Online communities for entrepreneurs (general)
- Online communities for startups
- Online communities for women in business
- Online communities for Black business leaders
- Online community for Asian business leaders
- Online communities for digital marketers and SEO experts
Online communities for entrepreneurs (general business resources)
Janice Wald, Founder, Mostly Blogging
Who’s it for? Entrepreneurs looking for resources and content to grow their business, plus a community of fellow-minded business people. BizSugar includes the Mastermind Group forum for discussing business, free business resources, self-guided courses, monthly challenges, and online events.
Why join? “BizSugar is a place for serious entrepreneurs. My Top Comments get featured, BizSugar shares my posts on Twitter, SmallBizTrends picks up BizSugar articles. SmallBizTrends is a top blog, so when they include a link to my post, my SEO gets a boost. The contacts I’ve made at BizSugar led to friendships. One of my contacts interviewed me on his podcast where my brand got more exposure.”
Janice’s tip: “At BizSugar, you’ll find content about a variety of entrepreneur-related topics. Support each other. Share and upvote each other’s content.”
Joe Friedlein, Founder and MD, Browser Media
Who’s it for? Guild is a business messaging platform where entrepreneurs can create professional groups and communities.
Why join? “I have found Guild to be a refreshing change to the noise of LinkedIn and it has been fantastic getting to know other agency owners who are all sharing similar challenges thanks to Covid. Whilst we are all ultimately in competition with each other, the group has shown that a Dunkirk spirit can create an amazing community of like-minded individuals who are more than happy to help each other out.”
Joe’s tip: “Remember the cliche about having two ears and one mouth – it is the same online. Be sensitive to the nature of dialogue and engage only when you have something to offer that will benefit others. If you are able to help others by sharing your experiences and offering advice, you are far more likely to be welcomed and will benefit from help in return.”
Cory A. Rusin, Transformational Coach, Founder, The Purpose Development Accelerator
Who’s it for? Entrepreneurs looking for free resources and educational materials to grow their business. Topics include personal development, marketing, wellness, entrepreneurship, productivity, and building business.
Why join? “[C2C is] the most well-rounded group I have ever been a part of and provides the most in-depth, free value for both aspiring AND full-time entrepreneurs. #C2C actually builds community… it’s not a spammy online space where people post promotions constantly. Entrepreneurship is being done and taught from the heart in a way that, if implemented, gets you real results.”
Cory’s tip: “Show up live to trainings, engage with the community, find an accountability buddy within the group, implement what you learn, and give feedback to the group. The more feedback you give, the more personalized support you receive.”
George Chilton, co-owner and Creative Director, Hubbub Labs
Who’s it for? Freelancers and entrepreneurs working from home or leading a digital nomad lifestyle. Coworking Days is both an online group and an offline coworking community. For offline meetups, see if it’s available in your city.
Why join? “Coworking Days, the brainchild of Simon Lewis, is an international community of entrepreneurs who regularly visit coworking spaces in their cities to socialize, take part in activities and work together. People also use the online Facebook group to chat, share ideas and get to know each other. I’ve found the Barcelona Coworking Days community to be a fun way to get to know new people, network and have great conversations during the week.”
George’s tip: “If you want to get involved in an online community like this, try to find one that’s local to you. Introduce yourself (without being spammy) and do your best to give as much as you take, that way you’ll be fully integrated and will make the most out of your experience.”
Meghan Cox, Owner & Creative Director, Mil Besos
Who’s it for? A community for creative entrepreneurs, from hobbyist to professional. Rising Tide Society offers free online educational resources and local chapter meetings in over 400 cities across the world.
Why join? “I enjoy taking part in this community as I can contribute to others who may benefit from my experiences, I can cheer on those celebrating accomplishments, share ideas, and I can learn from others’ accomplishments and missteps.”
Meghan’s tip: “I suggest …both sharing and soaking up knowledge where you can. If you find you are in a group that has a lot of arguments and drama, I would suggest leaving and finding a group such as Rising Tide that fosters a more supportive environment.”
Siddhartha Gunti, Co-founder, Adaface
Who’s it for? A Slack Community For Makers, Product Creators, and independent developers
Why join? “The community is very warm, closely-knit, and tries to help out with product pitches, online reach outs, and feedback. Since most of the members are indie developers and do not necessarily have a team of their own, they are very active in the community and very willing to help out fellow members.”
Siddhartha’s tip: “Be active. Give more. Ask less.”
Maryna Shkvorets, Owner, Marsandstarsbaby
Who’s it for? A community built around entrepreneur Marie Forleo, where other business owners share in the conversation and discussions.
Why join? “As an entrepreneur, I find myself drawn to other business owners, and the one that brings me the most inspiration is Marie Forleo. Alongside each video or audio episode, there’s a forum for business owners like me to chime in with our thoughts and questions. It’s so uplifting and inspiring, and I always get good ideas from other people’s questions and responses.”
Maryna’s tip: “When you join an entrepreneur community, don’t use it as a platform to promote yourself. People are smarter than that. Use it to learn and to connect as well as to inspire others.”
Dane Kolbaba, Owner, WatchdogPestControl
Who’s it for? A Facebook group for online lead generators and lead buyers.
Why join? “Lead Marketplace is an invaluable resource that hardly anyone knows about. Let’s say you were doing carpet cleaning in Pittsburgh but have a hard time getting the phones to ring. You could easily join this group and post about needing carpet cleaning leads in Pittsburgh. Within a few minutes, you would have a few messages from lead generators in Pittsburgh who either have leads already or that can get them. I happen to be in pest control and there is always someone out there in my target city that has the capability of forwarding me phone calls or contact forms. It’s been great!”
Dane’s tip: “Online entrepreneur communities can be super helpful and somewhat damaging to morale at times. Not everyone … has your best interests in mind. Before commenting in [online] groups, I find it useful to check it out first and see who you respect and [who] seems to have good advice. Maybe it might even be a good idea to message that person privately to make sure you are getting the advice you need.”
Online Communities for Startups
Michael Hammelburger, CEO, Expense Reduction Group
Who’s it for? An online community for entrepreneurs and media platform with lots of business resources for startups and entrepreneurs building their business.
Why join: “I love how community members share their expertise in marketing and personal growth in particular. The insights I’ve learned from fellow startup entrepreneurs are absolutely very informative and educational at the same time. What makes it unique is that it has created niche forums and groups so it’s easier to find like-minded entrepreneurs whether you’re a work-from-home CEO or a co-working space professional.”
James Pearson, CEO, eVenturing
Who’s it for? A global community for startup owners and entrepreneurs. Includes local and virtual events, networking, and exclusive resources.
Why join? “The community became my support system as I went through the trial and error phase of starting up. You will be able to learn, connect and share your wins and losses with other entrepreneurs through an online platform. Also, you will be able to access exclusive resources and virtual mentoring sessions with business experts who will guide you through your journey. However, it doesn’t stop there. For me, the best part of this community is the most anticipated conferences gathering all entrepreneurs in one event.”
James’ tip: “Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It will be uncomfortable at the start. Since you will be mingling with other entrepreneurs who might seem to be more successful or ahead of you. It’s fine, nobody starts at the top. Instead, seize the opportunity to learn from them. Aspire to become better and you will get there.”
Skyler Reeves, President & CEO, Ardent Growth
Who’s it for: An online discussion forum for business leaders based on the C.E.N.T.S. Framework as described in best-selling books by MJ DeMarco.
Why join? “I’ve learned so much from my peers at The Fast Lane to Millions. It’s a business forum for entrepreneurs like me where we can share our experiences in growing our respective businesses (whether good or bad, it doesn’t matter since there’s always a lesson to learn!). I’ve noticed that the participants are very eager to help one another and share their perspectives in business growth, development and even personal progress.”
Online Communities for Women in Business
Powerful Ladies Thrive Collective
Natasha Dressler, Founder & Publicist, Natasha Dressler PR & Marketing
Who’s it for? A platform for femalepreneurs and aspiring women in business. Includes monthly programs, weekly group coaching, workshops, courses, women in business community and networking.
Why join? “The Powerful Ladies Thrive Collective is filled with a diverse group of women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, different countries, and an array of skill sets. These women help me collaborate and brainstorm through different situations, and oftentimes we hire within our community when we need help!”
Natasha’s tip: “Make time for [online communities]. Block time out on your calendar and really give yourself that time to honor your continued education and commitment to yourself.”
Tamina Madsen, Community Director, HeraHub
Who’s it for? An international co-working project for women and an online platform that supports its members by providing mentoring, education, and a strong femalepreneur community.
Why join? In addition to a host of virtual weekly events, we focus on connecting members with each other to learn, share, and collaborate. Because Hera Hub has always been community first, the organization has also been instrumental in curing the isolation caused by the pandemic that is so widespread among solopreneurs.
Tamina’s tip: “Don’t bother investing in an online community unless you are committed to taking advantage of it. Incorporate involvement or participation into your weekly routine so you can make the most of everything the community has to offer. Also, find your people. Your community should be full of people to fit the niche that you subscribe to.”
Tori Reid, Owner, Shift Copy Co.
Who’s it for? Women entrepreneurs or women in SEO who’re using SEO to build their brand. The only group for women in the male-dominated field of SEO.
Why join? “I feel more supported in this group compared to larger male-dominated SEO Groups. It’s helped me find tools and resources to get the word out to a larger crowd about my business on a smaller budget. The best part is that Kari and Stephanie (the owners) are both active and happy to help you build connections in addition to skills. They highlight the members, which helps build clientele (we hire each other all the time).”
Tori’s tip: “You’ll get to know the members naturally because they’re happy to step up and answer. Before you know it, you’ll feel confident answering questions too, and through that mutual exchange, you’ll start building bonds with women in the group that are invaluable both professionally and personally.”
Cepee Tabibian, Founder, She Hit Refresh
Who’s it for? A Facebook group for women who’ve embraced or are exploring the digital nomad lifestyle. Includes a digital nomad course to get started with a mobile lifestyle, a virtual coworking community, online socializing, and fun events.
Why join? “Stumbling upon this group of inspiring women who have taken (or want to take) the unconventional path in life was a eureka moment for me. Just by seeing an abundance of women who had quit their jobs to create their own businesses, work remotely and travel, made that dream I had to do the same feel possible.”
Cepee’s Tip: “You never know what opportunity lies behind each connection. I have used the group as a resource to ask questions and connect with other members throughout my own journey from full-time employee to freelancer to online business owner. I’ve made virtual friends in the group who have played a significant role in my success, and through the Digital Nomad Girl retreats I’ve been able to meet some of these friends in-person.”
Michelle Beauregard, Founder, Quietly
Who’s it for? A Facebook group for women on the freelancing and solopreneurship journey
Why join? “I used this group to get leads when I used to freelance and build websites. Now that I’ve pivoted and launched my business Quietly this year, I use this group to find and hire people for contract work that I might have, like graphic design. It’s also a good way to get feedback on your business. For example, I saw one lady post photos of a dog bed she was launching, she asked the group which colour did people prefer, and she had dozens of comments – so it can be a way to discreetly self promote, without getting kicked out of a group.”
Michelle’s tip: “Get started and participate in online communities – no matter what stage you’re at in your business. Be vulnerable, share your business idea, ask questions, and leave comments in community groups. You’ll never know who you could meet, answers you’ll find, and discoveries you’ll make if you don’t try.”
Online Communities for Black Business Leaders
Boris Moyston, Co-Founder, Black Men Talk Tech
Who’s it for? Black entrepreneurs in the tech field who’re building “unicorn” startups. It is also the host of the Unicorn Ambition Conference.
Why join? “Black Men Talk Tech welcomes Black men, entrepreneurs, and other practitioners in the tech ecosystem to gain insights, develop and share their ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs while delivering high-quality content that benefits people of color in particular. In addition to the upcoming Unicorn Ambition Conference, Black Men Talk Tech has hosted a number of virtual events and fireside chats with leaders in the industry.”
Angela Majette, Founder, Blackconnect
Who’s it for? An international business community for Black business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs that promotes the socioeconomic growth and empowerment of the Black Community.
Why join? “The most comprehensive Black-owned business and social networking platform with members across the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.”
Angela’s tip: “To provide additional resources and support to Black entrepreneurs and business owners, I also founded Black Connect, Inc., a national non-profit organization dedicated solely to eliminating the racial wealth gap in America by increasing the number and success rate of Black-owned businesses.”
Online Community for Asian Business Leaders
Thomas Hong, Serial Entrepreneur, Owner, Vegky™
Who’s it for? A group for Asian entrepreneurs and aspiring hustlers to share their experience and learn from each other.
Why join? “Many entrepreneurs post stories of their success and this is inspiring. Also, it is a support group for those young business owners who are looking for advice and networking contacts.”
Thomas’ tip: “Participate! Be a giver, not a taker. Trust me, it comes back to you. Answers questions in the group (even if it’s not your specialty) and even if may not know the answer and have to google. Post your story and testimony in the group. Don’t be afraid to ask for help… Asking a question could answer the question for 10 other people who were afraid to ask but if you ask, it not only helps you but helps others indirectly.”
Online Communities for Digital Marketers and SEO
James Major, Owner and Founder, Insurance Panda
Who’s it for: An internet marketing forum for digital strategy specialists and entrepreneurs. Topics include marketing, SEO, DevOps, Audio and Video production, and a digital strategy crash course.
Why join? “Unlike other popular internet marketing forums such as Warrior Forum and Black Hat World, Builder Society is very highly moderated for quality, and therefore attracts higher quality members and content. The community has helped me think of some off-beat ways to market my website when other traditional methods had failed me. There are countless threads at BS with marketing secrets you won’t find anywhere else.”
James’ tip: “Be active and outgoing, yet be humble. Be willing to take suggestions from other senior community members without challenging them, and always express gratitude whenever somebody helps you.”
Malte Scholz, CEO and Co-Founder, Airfocus
Who’s it for? An online community for digital marketing entrepreneurs and discussion forum for online marketers and SEO specialists.
Why join? “Since I run an online business, I need to invest a lot into marketing which is why I refer to Digital Point quite often for expert opinion. I appreciate everybody’s openness to sharing tips and strategies with the rest of the community online…You don’t need to be a marketing guru to understand most of the answers.”
Malte’s tip: “Be ready to interact with people in the community and offer your expertise as well. If you feel uncomfortable starting a topic on your own, you can simply comment on certain posts and engage in the conversation.”
Jennifer Willy, Editor, Etia.com
Who’s it for? A Slack community for SEO specialists and Digital Marketers
Why join? “A digital marketing community that was founded in 2015 by David Markovich. It is currently the largest marketing community on Slack. It is also one of the most engaged private marketing communities on the web.”
Jennifer’s tip: “Being an entrepreneur can be challenging along with the feeling of disconnect and loneliness. But there are many communities [you can join] where entrepreneurs can connect with each other.”
Have you picked your favorite online community for entrepreneurs yet?
If that’s a yes, save and complement this guide with these Best Online Networking Tips from Entrepreneurs to establish online connections in a meaningful, lasting way.
And check out our out-of-this-world fast, mobile, and budget-friendly phone system for small business. We’ll help your team talk anytime, anywhere, and about anything, at a stunning price.